Treasure Island

Jorge Luis Borges

(24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986 / Buenos Aires / Argentina)

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To a Cat



The text of this poem could not be published because of Copyright laws.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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Jorge Luis Borges's Other Poems

  • Instants
  • History of the Night
  • Limits
  • The Art of Poetry
  • Remorse For Any Death
  • Adam Cast Forth
  • El Instante

Read poems about / on: solitude, dream, cat, sun, time, mirror

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Comments about this poem (To a Cat by Jorge Luis Borges )

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  • Ramesh T A (10/14/2010 7:38:00 AM)

    Cat's careful activity so ancient in nature like Ganges river, smooth as dream and silent as night allowing caress by hand of the master are wonderfully expressed here by the poet! Nice poem to read! (Report) Reply

  • Lee Sonneville (2/21/2010 4:59:00 PM)

    Just for fun, I will attempt to translate this more literally from the spanish:

    They are not more silent the mirrors
    nor more furtive the adventuress dawn
    you are, under the moon, that panther
    that is given to us to make out from afar
    by indescribable works of a decree
    devine, we look for you vainly
    more remote than the Ganges and the west wind
    yours is the loneliness, yours the secret
    your back consenting to the sullen
    caresses of my hand. You've allowed,
    from that eternity that is already oblivion,
    love from the distrustful hand.
    In another time you are. You are the owner
    of a closed realm like a dream.

    I'm not saying this is the 'real' version of the poem and definately not the more refined,
    it's just more word for word than the version above. Interesting to see how much
    things change in translation. (Report) Reply

  • archie langford (10/15/2009 3:17:00 AM)

    smokey came to my kitchen door deciding she would own me I tried to resist
    but I became her slave that`s a cat (Report) Reply

  • Edgar Eslit (10/14/2009 9:21:00 PM)

    Cat got many lives and so is this poem. It wanders all along with the deaf echo of the wind. Let's not wake the slumber of its verse before the cat shades its fur. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (10/14/2009 5:40:00 AM)

    A wonderfully suggestive poem describing the indescribable: somewhere we have long departed from, but which haunts us sometimes with an almost physical sense of its presence. (Report) Reply

  • Nancy Chambers (10/14/2008 11:39:00 AM)

    What a great description about a cat. 'You have accepted,
    since that long forgotten past,
    the love of the distrustful hand.' I have one of these creatures (Report) Reply

  • Mary Naylor (10/14/2007 4:59:00 PM)

    You weave a mood! You've caught the spirit of a beautiful animal! Very original imagery and thought. (Report) Reply

  • Jerry Beavers (5/4/2006 7:31:00 PM)

    I am envious of anyone who can come up with such a way to say how quiet a cat is ('Mirrors are not more silent') . And how better to contrast the coldness of the cat's unrevealing eyes ('nor the creeping dawn more secretive') with the emotions that pour from a dog's every look? Even the nighttime prowlings of my cat is done as if our basement were 'a place bounded like a dream.' (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

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